Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Swimmer’s Assistant (Review)

The Swimmer’s Assistant 

What the Author/Publisher Says:

Meet Jane Williams. She doesn’t understand the popularity of Twilight, can’t walk properly in high heels, struggles to speak Starbucks (venti what?), and nearly drowned in the toilet when she was a baby.

Meet Brian Parker. He’s a star swimmer with a temper and has just hired Jane to be his assistant as he trains for the London Olympics.

Enter the problem. Jane has developed feelings for Brian which is ridiculous because he has a dog who hates her, he chews with his mouth open, and has a perfect Twilight-obsessed girlfriend named Vanessa who plays Cinderella at Disneyland. Surely her crush can’t amount to anything. Or can it? There was that time when they nearly kissed…..

What I say:

Originally, when I started reading the author’s blog a while back and she mentioned (a few times) that she’d written a book, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I didn’t know much about it, and the only hint at her writing style was the blog. I will say that I was curious, though.  When she announced that it was released, curiosity got the better of me and I downloaded the free sample. I had no intention on reading the whole thing until I finished my current classes and had a break.  Still, I decided that there was no harm in reading the sample (which is typically about 10% of the story).  I read it.  Over all, it was a fairly easy read (the sample) with only one weird thing which  I mentioned to the author and I’m sure she’s going to fix.  After reading the sample (which just stops, mid page), I decided that I had to finish reading it.  For-pleasure reading (as opposed to tortured school reading) is only done at night, so it took me a few nights to finish it.

The language wasn’t difficult or haughty (lately some of the things I have been reading seem to take perfectly normal speech and then switch it up with awkward words from the thesaurus).  The ideas and plot flowed, there was foreshadowing, and there wasn’t much in the way of strange wording of phrases (except, of course the previously mentioned one, and then getting a saying backwards (per my notes… I make notes while I read, otherwise I’d not remember what it was that grabbed me at that minute)).  It was when Vanessa was speaking (location 14185)… “A moment on the hips, a lifetime on the lips”… however, that might have been intentional seeing as that other than being vindictive, perhaps Vanessa isn’t very bright.  I didn’t think to email the author and ask her about that. Maybe I should?

The story has a lot of different elements that make it feel as if it could be really real. There are fart jokes, lots of product/pop culture placement, and funny tees.  Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t able to imagine the characters as the characters, but rather I imagined the author for Jane and her swim-crush as Brian, but that’s only because there’s a lot of the writer in the main female character. It’s not a bad thing, but I doubt that the author actually meant for that to happen.  So, of course I got to imagine the author in cartoon cake panties and was scarred for life. Just kidding.

All in all, it’s an easy read with good flow, plot development and just enough sweetness to make it work. The only thing I think the author could have done is make there more tension in the build up, but that’s a personal preference (what can I say, I like a tortured soul or two).  The spelling and grammar was spot-on (which is very important), and it works.  The dialogue is realistic, and the characters have just enough details that they’re not set in stone, leaving the reader to be able to use their imagination (if they have one, if they don’t… I imagine they’d just think of stick people with the generalized characteristics of the characters).

Definitely clean enough, sans some mild language here and there, and a mention of a plastic vagina.  No sordid sex scenes, but those would feel out of place in this story. If it were a movie, it’d probably only be a PG-13.  I specifically enjoyed that it was a full-length book being treated as a full-length book, instead of a short story.  Price point was spot-on, as well, and I would like to see the next book pick up when Jane lands in London. I’m just saying…

The Swimmer’s Assistant by Amber Myers

Publication Date: October 9, 2012

Publisher: Self (?)

Price Point: $.99 (Amazon Kindle)

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Getting to Yes (Review)

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

What the author/publisher says:

Since its original publication nearly thirty years ago, Getting to Yes has helped millions of people learn a better way to negotiate. One of the primary business texts of the modern era, it is based on the work of the Harvard Negotiation Project, a group that deals with all levels of negotiation and conflict resolution. 

Getting to Yes offers a proven, step-by-step strategy for coming to mutually acceptable agreements in every sort of conflict. Thoroughly updated and revised, it offers readers a straight-forward, universally applicable method for negotiating personal and professional disputes without getting angry-or getting taken.

What I say:

I had to read this book for one of my classes (negotiating class, couldn’t you guess?).  I figured, since I read it, I would review it. The school provided it for me, which is good because frankly I’m cheap and I hate to pay for things that don’t interest me.  That being said, because it was a required reading it felt more like a chore rather than a joy. It’s less than 200 pages of actual knowledge and antidotes.  And really, it wasn’t the worst thing in the world that I could have read, but because I was told that I had to read it. I found myself doodling in the margins and underlining stuff that I thought I might need for my exam.  I passed the class, so it must have been okay.  I did enjoy some of the examples provided, but I don’t think I learned anything beyond commonsense and things I already knew.

I ended up giving my paper copy to my husband for his own reading pleasure, doodles and all.

Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher, William L. Ury, and Bruce Patton

Publication Date:  May 3, 2011 (revised)

Publisher: Penguin Books

Price Point: $10.88 (Amazon, paperback)

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Letting Go (Review)

Letting Go

What the author/publisher says: 

The rules were simple and the night promised to be one to never forget. All Scarlett has to do is let her guard down and have a little fun.

Scarlett’s best friend, Angela, has convinced her to attend an event called Text Me. No talking is aloud, only texting someone to get to know them. Rooms have been reserved for those attending in case they want to get to know someone one a more personal level.

After a series of texts that lead nowhere, Scarlett gets one that piques her interest. The person on the other end wants to tie her up and spank her. She finds herself eager to learn more. But that would mean trusting the anonymous texter. Can Scarlett finally let go and experience the pleasure this mystery man has to give?

What I say:

In this erotic short story, we find an uptight Scarlett, convinced by her friend to go to this single’s function where texting is the name of the game. While a few text-offers (including a single father looking for a mother for his children) come, nothing pans out except for a mystery texter that seems set that before the night is over, Scarlett will come to him.

Intrigued, Scarlett gives in and heads up to the mystery man’s room, entering to find it pitch black. Without ever setting eyes on him, she surrenders to him completely.

In the grand scheme of things, it was  a good short story with a lot of fun and mystery.  Realistically, there is no chance I’d ever surrender myself sight unseen to a ‘stranger’ but that’s just the uptight control freak in me.  For a fun little read, though, it does it’s job.

Letting Go by Lacey Wolfe

Publisher: Rebel Ink Press, LLC

Publishing date: October 1, 2012

Price Point: $1.99 (Kindle)

 

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